Nick Kyrgios speaks out amid dress code controversy at Wimbledon

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Seen here, Nick Kyrgios speaks to reporters before his opening round match at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios has added his voice to the growing calls for Wimbledon to ditch its outdated dress code. Pic: Wimbledon

Is it time for Wimbledon to break 145 years of tradition and revise an 'all white' dress code that is becoming increasingly unpopular?

Nick Kyrgios certainly thinks so, but the outspoken Aussie's argument - unlike his female contemporaries - is more centred around fashion than practicality.

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The 2014 Wimbledon quarter-finalist opens his tournament against British wildcard Paul Jubb on Tuesday and could play countryman Jordan Thompson in round two and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in round three.

Recharged and ready, Kyrgios enters Wimbledon feeling as sharp as he has in years but the 27-year-old admits he'd love to be given the freedom to express himself stylistically while on court.

Since the tournament’s debut in 1877, Wimbledon has imposed an all-white dress code for participants to follow, with strict conditions on the amount of other colours that players can wear while competing.

None of the other three grand slams or any other tennis tournament around the world enforces such a dress code and Kyrgios admits that he would like to see the restrictions relaxed at Wimbledon.

"I always want to wear all black, obviously," Kyrgios told reporters ahead of his first round match with British wildcard Jubb.

"But I don't think it's something that's going to change, I don't know.

"I think it would be cool to allow, like, a black headband or black sweatband. I think it would look cool. Obviously Wimbledon doesn't really care what looks cool... I don't think it will ever change."

Wimbledon's dress code has been thrust back into the spotlight recently after China's Qinwen Zheng opened up about playing while on her period, during last month's French Open fourth-round loss to Iga Swiatek.

Calls to have Wimbledon's 'all white' dress code changed

The Chinese player was hailed for having the courage to speak out about an issue that female tennis players have suffered through in silence in the past.

However, it has also sparked a wider debate about Wimbledon forcing female players to wear all white outfits, with sports broadcaster Catherine Whitaker telling the UK's Telegraph that perhaps it's time for a rethink.

Pictured here, China's Qinwen Zheng during her French Open match against Iga Swiatek in 2022.
China's Qinwen Zheng spoke about the difficulties of playing while on her period after losing to Iga Swiatek at the French Open. Pic: Getty

“I would like to see it change,” she said.

“If they had a clothing policy that affected men in the way that it does women, I don’t think that particular tradition would last. I cannot imagine going into the biggest day of my life, with my period, and being forced to wear white.”

Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig also touched on the issue on social media, sharing her appreciation that real women's issues were finally being discussed openly.

“Definitely something that affects female athletes! Finally bringing it to everyone’s attention,” Puig wrote on Twitter.

“Not to mention the mental stress of having to wear all white at Wimbledon and praying not to have your period during those two weeks.”

The 'all white' dress code was adopted by Wimbledon in the 1880s, due to the colour's ability to hide sweat marks, which were deemed offensive in those times.

While some colour is allowed on players' outfits at Wimbledon, the amount is strictly enforced by organisers.

Over the years players have tried to push the boundaries in terms of colours on their outfits, with Roger Federer earning the ire of officials after wearing orange-soled white shoes in 2013.

Martina Navratilova was also famously once reprimanded for wearing a blue-striped white skirt.

with agencies

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